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We couldn't hug her goodbye: Family tell the heartbreak of coronavirus death

The family of a grandmother from Suffolk who died after testing positive for COVID-19 have spoken about how they couldn't hug her goodbye or tell her they loved her.

Jane Jay from Ixworth near Bury St Edmunds was taken into West Suffolk Hospital a week ago.

Her son Alex has praised the staff who looked after her, and says we all need to follow scientific advice to save as many lives as we can.

  • Click below to watch our report from Tanya Mercer

Jane started feeling ill last week and last Wednesday Jane was taken to the West Suffolk Hospital with breathing difficulties.

Jane Jay Credit: Jane's family

She had an underlying lung condition and her family hoped it was a bad chest infection.

But on Monday it was confirmed she had Covid-19.

She had an oxygen mask over her face, she looked very very poorly, she was the first, everything was empty, I had the full attention of the staff that were wonderful. Within a very short period of time those wards will be full and they won't be able to provide the dignity that my mother had."

– Alex Jay, Jane's son

Kitted out in protective equipment Alex was able to spend time with his mum on Monday, something he knows families in the future will be denied.

For the rest of her family though, they feel robbed of the chance to properly say goodbye.

We couldn't tell her we loved her for the last time in person, we are in shock because it's so surreal, it feels just like numbers until it's there, until you experience it and I think the distance that we have from her because we couldn't see her or say goodbye, it just feels like it hasn't even happened or it couldn't have happened. But it does and it is so real and it is so shocking."

– Molly Williams, Jane's Granddaughter

Jane is the first person confirmed to have died from Cornavirus in Suffolk.

Jane Jay Credit: Jane's family

Her family know there will be many more who follow her.

They have huge praise for the NHS staff who cared for Jane.

Now they want all of us to follow the scientific advice to help save lives.

Do what they tell you to do. What we need is to stop mixing with each other and then they will come up with test and they will come up with hopefully a vaccine. They'll come up with an answer."

– Alex Jay, Jane's son

Now her family plan a funeral only a small number will be able to attend.

But they will all hold in their hearts the memories of their vibrant, kind mother and grandmother.

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